That rogue Krishna.
There is a very interesting story about the nineteenth ashtapadi in Jayadeva’s Geetha Govindam
It is in the tenth Sargam, Chathura Chathrubhujam. The Ashtapadi starts with “Vadasi yadhi kinchidapai ..”
The devotee poet Jayadeva was spending the morning visualizing the amorous deeds of his Master for ever Krishna. He has reached a stage in the lyric where the crafty Krishna has managed to mollify Radha’s love laden anger towards him after somehow persuading her to come to his presence along with her Sakhi. The girl (Radha) is excited, full of love for the black scoundrel but is indeed displeased with him for his amorous forays with other girls. The fellow with the glib tongue to control the entire world with Geetha, finds it indeed very difficult to capture back the endearing mood of Radha.
Jayadeva is observing the conversation in the screen of his mine. The master lover is pleading with his dearest love, ‘ Radha please abandon your anger which has originated out of some misunderstanding(?), please give me a smile to make cool my heart which is being burned by Kamadeva. If you want to give vent to your anger you attack me with your teeth or nails, you cause any physical injury to me but do put an end to this anger.” Ultimately it flashes to jayadeva that his master and the rogue, Krishna is offering to his love that she should place her beautiful leg which are so beautiful and capable of curing him of the poison inflicted by cupid, on his head as if it is an ornament.( What a rogue! he is ready even to be kicked on the head by Radha to gain her favours..terrible fellow..it will be difficult to see a person like this in any literature of the world).
Yes, such words flashed in the mind of Jayadeva but his pen will not move. How can he write such a thing about his darling Krishna. For Jayadeva everything else in the world, be it Radha, or himself or anything is only subservient to Krishna. How can he digest the idea of a puny cowherd girl place her legs on the head of His master. He stopped his writing. He raked his brain again again to compose another padam to substitute this. But even after many attempts he simply failed to go ahead.
An idea struck him. His head would become more clear if had had a bath and calling his wife Padmavathi to keep the palmleaves and the pen aside, he went for a bath.
How could Jayadeva guess that the crafty fellow with four hands ( the world cannot suffer him even with two hands) was just waiting outside the house and was watching the scene. The sweet sorcerer just waited till Jayadeva was away safely near a stream taking his bath. He entered the house in exact disguise of Jayadeva. The amazed wife Padmavathi asked why he had returned without taking bath ( the fellow is such a consummate actor that even the wife of Jayadeva could not divine the disguise. He explained to her that he had forgotten to put on words some flash ideas which he could not wait till he finished his bath. He called for the Ashtapadi Script and coolly wrote
‘Smara garala ghantanam mama sirasi mandanam dehi padha pallavamudhaaram,
Jwalathi mama daaruno madhanakadhanaanalo harathu tadupaahitha vikaaram,
After finishing writing this, the false jayadeva said, I have applied oil on my head now for a long time and a few drops have trickled down to my lashed. Show the tip of your dress, I want to wipe the oil away. Padmavathi obliges lovingly and the impersonator left.
In due course, the poet Jayadeva came back from the bath and saw the palmleaves and pen all spread out and to his utter dismay he saw the words which he had avoided recording for a thousand times were neatly recorded in his manuscritpt. He was enraged. He demanded Padmavathi how this happened. She recalled his sudden return from bath and the hurried scribbling and quick departure again for bath. To indicate his temporary return and departure, she showed him the spot on her dress where he had wiped his eyes off to clear the dripping oil. What they saw there was not marks of oil drops but the beautiful mark of the Divine eye of Krishna.
Jayadeva was overwhelmed with remorse. He was serving the vagrant rogue Krishna all the time in his life but it was given to Padmavathi to have a darshan and conversation with the eternal parabrahmam.
And the verse penned by the rogue himself is retained in the ashtapadi. Krishna has really offered to be kicked by Radha for his adulterous behavior and he really got it recorded.
What an impossible rogue he is… But can any of us help it? We will go on loving him.